The Shout Heard Round the World — 8 Comments

  1. Jim, your wonderfully detailed, visceral descriptions of THIS IS CINERAMA is truly the next best thing to being there! What a thrill it must have been for the lucky audiences who got to see it first-hand! You made an excellent point about THIS IS CINERAMA essentially being the first instance of virtual reality. Your blog post makes me wish I had a time machine so I could see …CINERAMA first-hand! Now I'm on tenterhooks for the "heartache" you hinted at (*gulp!*) Great post, as always!

    P.S.: As a Stan Freberg fan, I was tickled that you used lyrics from his song "Widescreen Mama, Don't You Cinerama Me! (Cinerama, Cinerama)" 🙂

  2. Kevin, How the West Was Won was my first Cinerama experience, and I'm one of those who went home with stars in his eyes. It remains my favorite movie to this day. For years, my friends would (barely) conceal their disbelief when I told them — but I was coasting on the memory of Cinerama, while they could only judge by the general-release version or (worse yet) home video; in time I became a little embarrassed about saying so. When I saw HTWWW again in Cinerama in 1996 — for the first time in 34 years — I realized I had nothing to be embarrassed about.

  3. I refuse to do roller coasters in real life, but I could probably be talked into seeing "This is Cinerama". Riding a roller coaster from the safety of my theater seat is tolerable for me.

    Alas, I've never experienced Cinerama, but I hope to one day. I do like the Tiomkin music for "Search for Paradise" as gloriously overblown as it is.

    I know people who trekked to see "How the West Was Won" at a Cinerama theater in Ohio, and came back with stars in their eyes.

  4. Thanks, Silver! Yes, one can only imagine how TIC looked in 1952, when even Technicolor was still something of an exotic treat. (Must ask my uncle why I wasn't included in his Cinerama party; I'd have been good.)

    But I can vouch for the experience from '63 onward. No matter how jaded you think you are from IMAX and whatever, that rollercoaster still wows 'em. What Jim Morrison says in my post is not a figure of speech, it literally hits you in the gut, right smack in the belly. You can feel everything but the wind on your face.

  5. Wow! I would have LOVED to have seen "This is Cinerama" in the theatre when it first came out. Fantastic! The way you write about it is the next best thing to being there.